Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Expansion of Shillong Airport unfeasible, AAI proposes new airport

Shillong: The Meghalaya High Court has directed the state government to file a preliminary report on whether to build a greenfield airport or expand the existing Umroi Airport as the Airport Authority of India has said extension of the runways at Shillong Airport may not be feasible, officials said.

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) implicitly asked the state government to identify land for a greenfield airport project, during a hearing yesterday. In its affidavit filed before the Meghalaya High Court, the AAI said, "It is not optimistic about the feasibility of the extended runways at the Umroi Airport or the extent to which it may be possible to extend the runways."

Since the state appears to be keen to have an airport that would cater to the needs of the residents in the State and others intending to visit the State without having to endure the present three-hour ordeal of travelling from Guwahati Airport to Shillong proper, it is hoped that something concrete regarding the development of the State is planned, with a greenfield airport project or an expanded Umroi Airport as its centre being a harbinger or catalyst for the overall development of the State that would create employment opportunities and add to the wellbeing and happiness quotient of the residents here, the high court said.

It gave eight weeks' time for the state to file a preliminary report on the matter. The court said that the state appears to be keen that bigger aircraft are able to land either at Umroi Airport or any other place closer to Shillong than the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport at Guwahati.

16/03/22 PTI/India Today

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